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The best kept secret in music


"Vitamins spice up Greeley's night life"

It is often hard on a Saturday night in Greeley to dream up plans worthy of effort. Never having been one to frequent the State Armory at 614 8th Ave., I went to the venue with fervent enthusiasm, not because of venue but because the Vitamins were performing, and I yearned to see them play.

The band's apearance at the Armory is a great example of their ability to stay true to their roots, as the Vitamins first established themselves right here in Greeley. The members are all currently seniors at the University of Northern Colorado. During a casual interview with the band, they expressed that their music springs from nothing else but a desire to simply make music.

Lizzy Allan, Gary Villeneuve and Ryan Ellison shared a flat in 2005. and an itch to create music. Investing themselves in their instruments they conjured up plans to form a band, but they lacked was a drummer. That is where Crawford Philleo comes in. Philleo is also a student at UNC and shared the same thirst for new fresh sounds. This was the perfect fit and together the four UNC students merged their talents and great music was the product.

The band agrees music is not only sounds but also a means of communication.

"Music is a language," Villeneuve said. "it brought us together."

Allan agreed jokingly, "It's hard to talk to you guys without a guitar in my hand."

In February 2005, the Vitamins became bona fide performers at their first show at the Study Hall at 2812 11th Ave. The show was packed even then, but students agree the band has now matured into its own. Somehow as their sound developed Saturday night, it was the perfect mix of diversity and cohesion. This formula is what gives the Vitamins their uniquely indescribable sound.

Though many students ranted and raved about the performance no one could firmly describe the Vitamins' sound. During the interview the Vitamins shared with me a vast milieu of band and artists that have undoubtedly influenced their current sound, which is seemingly beyond description.

Nirvana, Wilco, The Talking Heads, Catpower, The Pixies and artists Patsy Cline, Neil Young and Hank Williams are all favorites of the band. This eclectic music history suggests why the Vitamins' style and sound is so hard to pinpoint. Most students could only express their feelings matter-of-factly.

Kellin Burns, a junior at Aims Community College Student was more than impressed.

"Very simply, the band looks and sounds better than ever," Burns said.

The Saturday night performance illustrated that this band has pushed their talent in order to propel their music to a whole new level, only within the past two years. They were tight and crisp though they maintained a raw edge that seemed to hook everyone.

Miranda Harp, 21 a UNC graduate, was thoroughly impressed.

"The best show by far," she said, "it was fantastic."

Harp was especially fond of the choreography during the final song of the set. Harp was either speechless or just sparing her vocals when she jumped, pointed and smiled with glee as Villeneuve, Allan, and Ellison took part in robotically synchronized movements. The Vitamins had never done choreography before. Philleo had mentioned that audio and visual are equally important.

"A band must have a visual style," Philleo said.

Which explains not only the choreography but also the classic posters strewn all over Greeley. In fact, the posters are so hip that those posted weeks before the show are now victim to theft.

To the joy of everyone, The Vitamins will be performing again at the State Armory in three weeks on Oct. 21. The band confessed that they often surprise themselves though it appears that the Vitamins also surprised their fans.

- Alexandria Valline - The Mirror

"Best Band From an Actual Cowtown"

Every once in a while, a great new band surfaces that seems fully formed -- like Athena, sprung from the head of Zeus. Greeley's Vitamins, which until recently stayed beneath the radar by playing mostly warehouse-type shows, is one such act. Taking an eclectic approach to songwriting, Vitamins' members wed latter-day no-wave guitar tones and textures with melodic song structures, and country music with experimental guitar rock, punk and whatever it is that Camper Van Beethoven was doing -- all without sounding like dilettantes. They play with wide-eyed enthusiasm, as if completely unaware that so many other like-minded souls exist, like they have to touch upon every style themselves. With a charming, theatrical live show, Vitamins are bound to be good for you. - Westword 2007

"Langhorne Slim/Vitamins Denver Post"

Good-natured rock shows, in which pretense and surly sneers are unwelcome, sometimes seem a rare occurrence in these winter months. More often than not, barflies appear to hunch over their PBRs and shots of Jack, peering suspiciously from greasy, tangled locks, arms folded over T-shirts bearing ironic witticisms.

Or maybe it's just me. Either way, Monday night at the Larimer Lounge felt refreshing. Problems - both in and out of the bands' control - riddled the sets, but a sense of camaraderie pervaded the room. Vitamins, an uneven but exciting indie quartet from Greeley, brought much of the crowd with them. Attendance-wise, most bands could do a lot worse for a wind-racked Monday night.

Vitamins stumbled a bit on its more complex songs, the chord changes and subtleties seeming to slip away from the members. Not everyone is Zappa, after all. But the infectious, harmony-laden pop of "Holy Roses" and the relatively unadorned country-folk of "The Saints" struck the perfect balance. Lizzy Allen's clean, strong pipes and confident stage presence bodes well for this young band's future.

After a mediocre acoustic-blues duo left the stage, the unpredictable Langhorne Slim launched his set with a stand-up bassist and brush drummer, immediately inflating the room's energy. Unfortunately, sound problems distracted from the excellent performance, which had Slim looking and sounding like a mad scientist's genetic hybrid of Jack White and Hank Williams.

Friendly banter and gobs of patience with the crackling, feedback-laden mix proved what solid fellows Slim and his band were. If only we could bottle this energy and dust it over some of the more dour shows of this unrelenting Colorado winter. | John Wenzel

- Denver Post 2007

"Critics Choice"

The ill wind wafting down from Greeley generally serves as a reminder of what it smells like around here when the Stock Show is in full swing. Occasionally, though, the unexpected gusts from the north blow in some great musicians, such as Twice Wilted, Reverend Deadeye and Ian Cooke. The latest of these hinterland heroes is Vitamins, who resemble a Burroughsian splicing of various eras of indie rock: a little bit of Rilo Kiley here, a touch of Camper Van Beethoven there, with a patina of Sonic Youth stitched in for good measure, resulting in catchy songs infused with adventurous textures. Live, the outfit incorporates elements of theater and dance in a way that enhances the music rather than detracting from it -- even when its members don large, sea-creature masks to perform "Fish Stick," a gesture that comes off as more charming than gimmicky. Pop some Vitamins this Saturday, March 10, at Emerald City (212 Sante Fe Drive). It'll do you good.

Emerald City
By Tom Murphy

- Westword 2007

"EP Review Westword"

Vitamins EP (Self-released)
By Jason Heller
Published: May 4, 2006

Subject(s): Vitamins There used to be a shed in Greeley where indie bands would play. Yes, a fucking shed. I'm not sure how much the town has changed lately -- when's the last time you were there? -- but if Vitamins' eponymous EP is any indication, the manure and monotony have really taken their toll on the kids. Vitamins is a quartet of young Greeley citizens, and their five-song debut (produced by Constellations' Cory Brown) is an unkempt knot of sound, from Out Hud-inspired disco punk to Decembrists-style balladry to unabashed folk pop. But none of the songs sit still enough to be convincing counterfeits -- which, of course, is Vitamins' salvation. Instead of falling into a comfortable rut, the band strains at convention and attacks itself with jarring shifts and discordant riffs that somehow jell perfectly. Joy, weirdness, beauty and noise -- it's all here. Time to leave the proverbial shed, guys, and ransack Denver. This scene could use a healthy dose of Vitamins.

- Vitamins EP review


Self titled EP "Vitamins"
all tracks have been played on air including a single "holy roses"


Feeling a bit camera shy


The year of 2005, while it may have been highly disappointing for the cigarette industry, turned out to be a highly entertaining experience for those in the rock category. With some of the greatest bands in the world turning out their best albums yet, and other new bands sprouting all over the world, setting musical standards higher yet, there sat in the hot, dry, shitty-smelling Greeley, Colorado a bright, young foursome of the musical persuasion out to make their foot prints in the manure infested streets of the fastest groaning city in the U.S. Ryan Kieth Ellison and, Lizzy Allen spent much of the year with roommate Gary Villeneuve in the upstairs of a little house on 11th avenue, betwixt numerous fraternity houses and empty keg shells, spending way too much on rent, having trouble finding an extra roomie, and putting up with a hellish neighbor, whose cats were oft scared of loud banging noises coming from the empty bedroom of the cramped, but cozy abode. Frequent visitor and friend, Crawford Philleo approached the three sometime in mid-February of that year about perhaps starting a band. Pretty soon, the group was together, and remained nameless for sometime, slowly taking old compositions (primarily those of either Ryan alone, or the collective efforts of Ryan and Gary and Lizzy) and molding them into fully formed, short bursts of indie songdom with an eye to the past, and a hopeful one for new experimental frontiers. After some months and eventually years of hard work, changing practice spaces (one of which included a utility storage space... that was cold... very very cold), the band settled into a warehouse practice area, recorded their first s/t five-song EP with a young up-and-coming producer from Denver (and also Constillations band member), Cory Brown. Since then they have manged to independently sell over 300 copies of that very same EP which has been frequently played on such independent radio station such as Boulder's 1190 and KCSU's 90.5, not to mention Denver's own 93.3. With frequent write-ups in Denver's Westword newspaper the band decided early this year that Greeley has had enough. They are currently making the move to Denver. The band has it sights set on recording an album, releasing it, and then touring. They want to continue to focus on creating unforgettable live shows (along the line of the one this past March with ManMan) and to scatter their talents throughout the country.